The physical retail space is in a profound duration of flux, with many questioning its future as e-commerce behemoths like Instagram-focused, fast-fashion company Fashion Nova take center stage. The difficulties are a roll call of complex problems with no simple answers: consumer behavior has shifted significantly and permanently; labor is becoming more costly and harder to staff and train; and “silver bullet” technology solutions pile up the anxiety and operational impact with often virtually no leads to show for it.
On the one hand, Amazon Prime Day, held this year in July, is, pardon the pun, a prime example of this mindset. The annual discount day for Amazon members has reached the heights of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, additionally driving Prime subscriptions to double in less than 4 years.
This is putting additional pressure on traditional retailers, with a few, including JCPenny, Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Target, even promising to complement affordable prices seen on Amazon. Not surprising given that during 2017’s Prime Day retailers saw approximately drop of nearly 1 percent foot-traffic at electronic stores and some 3 percent at department shops.
With the much success within the digital space, best shops near me raised some eyebrows with its acquisition of physical Whole-foods, along with the launch of the own physical retail space and of course, the launch of Amazon Books.
But Amazon knows full-well that physical retail is far from dead. In reality, in accordance with Scott Clarke, Chief Digital Officer at Cognizant, “America’s top retail chains reported a net increase of 4,000 new store openings in 2017 and therefore are projecting another net increase of over 5,500 new stores in 2018.” That coupled with recent government policies voting in favour of traditional, or rather in favor of a more robust sales tax within the digital space, Amazon’s “money moves” start looking less dubious and rather speak much more of an excellent read on the market. Afterall, 90 % of sales still take place in brick and mortar stores.
Who else remembers the infamous quote offered by Marc Andreessen in 2013 citing the death of traditional? Andreessen was dead wrong about his claim that 100 % of our transactions goes digital, but he was dead on about software playing an enormous role down the road of retail. Individuals are digital creatures – they are amply trained in convenience and customization and expect the same in their physical interactions. Let your software transform your retail experience instead of annex it i.e., make use of data thoughtfully.
Customer experience is key when winning the hearts and loyalty of consumers. Think convenience, consistency, customization, and make contact with. Nike by Melrose is actually a prime example of a brandname really using this lesson to heart, making a local, digitized, customized, humanized and socialized experience for Nike fans and individuals Nike Plus.
According to InMarket, a micro trip is actually a shopping trip which takes lower than five minutes along with a behavior that is becoming increasingly common as grocery stores add programs that let customers order on the internet and pick-up personally. Though traditionally retailers have been partial to longer shopping trips, micro trips allow brick and mortars the advantage of more effective store formats and improved targeted marketing.
Exactly how do you create a microtrip-friendly environment? It’s all about merging your eCommerce platform with all the physical interaction. The pick-up type of organization is becoming more and more essential to consumers. Brands like Home Depot and Walmart take lessons from Amazon and Nike by installing lockers in stores so that shoppers can physically pick up online orders. Whole Food locations with Amazon lockers saw an increase of 11% with regards to micro-visits and chainwide microtrips to Whole-foods are up 8.7 percent.
Why would you want to pick-up an online order, you might ask. Paradoxically, it’s about convenience. Deliveries have their very own set of complications, including scheduling and traffic delays or the shipment of damaged products. And after your day, there exists nothing more immediate than an event at a physical retailer. “As effective as jngzsv is to get – one-day delivery, sometimes one-hour delivery – that still can’t contend with usually the one-second immediacy for being in store and obtaining that avocado … because I thought about this in that moment,” said Todd Dipaola, InMarket CEO and founder.
The consumer journey will look very different in 5 years as retail’s transformations embrace tech that will continue to evolve, deepening our understanding of consumer preferences and shopping habits. Should you provide the right combination of experiences and environment, you can create a unique dynamic between your logo and your consumer. At the end of the day, your audience, your brand family, can be your currency. In a post-digital world, you should approach all of them with a 360 TLC mentality.